The Executive Director
A MESSAGE FROM JOSEPH L. TATE
Since the early days of my youth, I have been actively involved in the struggle and quest for equal opportunity and first class citizenship. I have been and am an advocate for the active enforcement of constitutional rights, civil rights, and human rights for all people. My personal growth and development has been the result of parental influence and the influence of others who have been activists in the struggle for whom I have profound respect. Therefore, I am a firm believer that federal, state, and local civil rights law enforcement agencies must actively pursue their legal mandate to eliminate and prevent discrimination in an effective, responsible, objective, and professional manner to make equal opportunity a reality in Iowa and in our country for all.
The history of our country in the area of civil rights is common knowledge. The Bill of Rights has been often duplicated and used as a model for commonly accepted civil rights. Our legislation, Executive Orders, and administrative rules and regulations which prohibit discrimination are probably the most sophisticated and advanced in the world. The enforcement of anti-discrimination legislation and Executive Orders are perhaps the most advanced in the world. However, there is irony in the disparity between the official policies which are stated as well as implied in our Constitution, Executive Orders, and legislation, and the psychological, sociological, and economic realities in the United States and Iowa. The role and function of civil rights agencies are to establish and effect change which will eliminate the existing disparity. To this objective I am committed.
The activities of the civil rights movement today are illustrated by the words of William Jennings Bryan, "Equal rights to all and special privileges to none." Through affirmative action programs, educational programs, and enforceable compliance we are actively pursuing the reality of all persons having their equal rights and eliminating those special privileges which have been accorded to some individuals either intentionally or unintentionally. Our objective, therefore, is to eliminate the aforementioned existing disparity and fulfill the mandate of a civil rights agency
During the past fiscal year there has been an active pursuit of the elimination of this disparity through the active enforcement of civil rights for Iowans. The reduction of the complaint inventory which has distressed complainants and respondents alike, the execution of meaningful conciliation agreements, the development and implementation of meaningful affirmative action programs, the increased coordination and cooperation between the functional divisions of this agency, the increased coordination of efforts of federal and local agencies with the efforts of the Iowa Civil Rights Commission, and the training of state and local commissioners as well as staff members have been paramount. While the Commission has been one of the few agencies nationally to successfully reduce its complaint inventory, the annualized benefit to Iowans has increased. Efforts by employers to develop and implement meaningful affirmative action programs have increased. Agency divisions are better coordinating their efforts while this agency has worked more effectively with federal and local agencies to better coordinate activities which would facilitate the elimination and prevention of discrimination in Iowa. Successful training sessions have been conducted with citizens' groups, local commissions, employers, and realtors when requested. Through these efforts we cannot help but feel that the disparity has been lessened.
In conclusion, I am enthusiastic about the future of this agency and the future of all Iowans for obtaining equal opportunity.